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Journal Details
Format
Journal
eISSN
1899-7562
First Published
13 Jan 2009
Publication timeframe
5 times per year
Languages
English

Search

Volume 53 (2016): Issue 1 (December 2016)

Journal Details
Format
Journal
eISSN
1899-7562
First Published
13 Jan 2009
Publication timeframe
5 times per year
Languages
English

Search

25 Articles

Research article

Open Access

Physiological, Nutritional and Performance Profiles of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Athletes

Published Online: 14 Oct 2016
Page range: 261 - 271

Abstract

Abstract

This study analysed the physiological, nutritional and performance profiles of athletes practicing Brazilian jiu-jitsu. To this end, 15 athletes that practiced Brazilian jiu-jitsu (aged: 28 ± 5 years; 8 brown belts and 7 black belts; training experience: 11 ± 4 years) underwent anthropometric measurements (body composition and somatotype), dietary evaluation (24 h recall) and physical fitness tests (movement time, dynamometer handgrip, kimono grip strength, vertical jump and sit-and-reach tests). The athletes had 12.7 ± 4.8% of body fat, 59.2 ± 5.0% of muscle mass and their somatotype was dominated by the mesomorphic component (5.3 ± 2.0), followed by endomorphic (3.7 ± 1.5) and ectomorphic (1.4 ± 0.9) components. Nutritional assessment suggested a diet consisting of 54 ± 7% of carbohydrates, 19 ± 4% of protein and 27 ± 6% of lipids. Movement time on the handgrip tests was 0.42 ± 0.05 s, for handgrip strength, 53 ± 7 kgf was found for the dominant hand and 50 ± 9 kgf for the non-dominant hand. For the countermovement jump, the jiu-jitsu athletes reached 41 ± 5 cm. Athletes remained 30 ± 14 s in the maximum static suspension test gripping a kimono, and reached 27 ± 8 cm in the sit-and-reach test. Overall the sample presented average levels of body fat, elevated muscle mass and a predominantly mesomorphic somatotype. Diet was generally poor, with low carbohydrate intake, high protein intake and adequate lipid intake. Maximum isometric handgrip strength was consistent with observations of other athletes in this sport discipline. However, the performance in the maximum static suspension test gripping a kimono was lower than in other Brazilian jiu-jitsu athletes. Movement time was comparable and lower body muscle power was worse compared to athletes in similar sports. Additionally, flexibility was rated as poor.

Keywords

  • combat sport
  • sports performance
  • physical fitness evaluation
  • anthropometrics
Open Access

Analysis of Tests Evaluating Sport Climbers’ Strength and Isometric Endurance

Published Online: 14 Oct 2016
Page range: 249 - 260

Abstract

Abstract

The present study was designed to determine which types of specific tests provide an effective evaluation of strength and endurance in highly trained competitive sport climbers. The research process consisted of three basic components: the measurement of selected somatic characteristics of the climbers, the assessment of their physical conditioning, and a search for correlations between the anthropometric and “conditioning” variables on the one hand, and climber’s performance on the other. The sample of subjects consisted of 14 experienced volunteer climbers capable of handling 7a- 8a+/b on-sight rock climbing grades. The strongest correlations (Spearman’s rank) were found between climber’s competence and the relative results of the finger strength test (r = 0.7); much lower, but still statistically significant coefficients were found between the level of competence and the results of the muscle endurance tests (r = 0.53 – 0.57). Climbers aspiring to attain an elite level must have strong finger and forearm muscles, but most of all, they must be capable of releasing their potential during specific motor capability tests engaging these parts of the body. The forearm muscles of elite climbers must also be very resistant to fatigue. Since highly trained athletes vary only slightly in body mass, this variable does not have a major effect on their performance during strength and endurance tests.

Keywords

  • rock climbing
  • training
  • physical performance
  • biomechanics
Open Access

Effects of Plyometric Training on Physical Fitness in Team Sport Athletes: A Systematic Review

Published Online: 14 Oct 2016
Page range: 231 - 247

Abstract

Abstract

Plyometric training (PT) is a very popular form of physical conditioning of healthy individuals that has been extensively studied over the last decades. In this article, we critically review the available literature related to PT and its effects on physical fitness in team sport athletes. We also considered studies that combined PT with other popular training modalities (e.g. strength/sprint training). Generally, short-term PT (i.e. 2-3 sessions a week for 4-16 weeks) improves jump height, sprint and agility performances in team sport players. Literature shows that short PT (<8 weeks) has the potential to enhance a wide range of athletic performance (i.e. jumping, sprinting and agility) in children and young adult amateur players. Nevertheless, 6 to 7 weeks training appears to be too short to improve physical performance in elite male players. Available evidence suggests that short-term PT on non-rigid surfaces (i.e. aquatic, grass or sand-based PT) could elicit similar increases in jumping, sprinting and agility performances as traditional PT. Furthermore, the combination of various plyometric exercises and the bilateral and unilateral jumps could improve these performances more than the use of single plyometric drills or traditional PT. Thus, the present review shows a greater effect of PT alone on jump and sprint (30 m sprint performance only) performances than the combination of PT with sprint/strength training. Although many issues related to PT remain to be resolved, the results presented in this review allow recommending the use of well-designed and sport-specific PT as a safe and effective training modality for improving jumping and sprint performance as well as agility in team sport athletes.

Keywords

  • plyometric training
  • jumping
  • sprint
  • agility
  • team sport athletes
Open Access

Game-Related Performance Factors in four European Men’s Professional Volleyball Championships

Published Online: 14 Oct 2016
Page range: 223 - 230

Abstract

Abstract

The present study was designed to assess the relevance of game-related performance factors as outcome predictors in high-level volleyball. To carry out the analysis, the official box scores of 399 matches played by 47 different teams in four different European male professional volleyball leagues (Italy, Poland, Germany and Turkey) during the 2013-14 regular season were analyzed. A logistic mixed model was performed to determine the effects of different variables in matches’ outcomes. According to the multivariate analysis the following factors were significantly associated with winning matches: the number of scorers (OR = 1.32; CI: 1.09 – 1.59), service errors (OR = 0.91; CI: 0.87 – 0.95), service points (OR = 1.25; CI: 1.15 -1.36), reception errors (OR = 0.79; CI: 0.74 – 0.84), the percentage of positive receptions (OR = 1.02; CI: 1.00 -1.04) and blocked balls (OR = 1.17; CI: 1.11 – 1.26). Team category 2 (OR = 0.39; CI: 0.24 – 0.63) and team category 3 (OR = 0.15; CI: 0.09 – 0.25) were significantly associated with losing matches. These findings can contribute to a better understanding of performance indicators in professional volleyball, helping coaches and decision makers to better determine the importance of particular game factors.

Keywords

  • performance analysis
  • volleyball
  • logistic mixed models
  • official box scores
  • team sports
Open Access

The Integration of Internal and External Training Load Metrics in Hurling

Published Online: 15 Oct 2016
Page range: 211 - 221

Abstract

Abstract

The current study aimed to assess the relationship between the hurling player’s fitness profile and integrated training load (TL) metrics. Twenty-five hurling players performed treadmill testing for VO2max, the speed at blood lactate concentrations of 2 mmol•L-1 (vLT) and 4 mmol•L-1 (vOBLA) and the heart rate-blood lactate profile for calculation of individual training impulse (iTRIMP). The total distance (TD; m), high speed distance (HSD; m) and sprint distance (SD; m) covered were measured using GPS technology (4-Hz, VX Sport, Lower Hutt, New Zealand) which allowed for the measurement of the external TL. The external TL was divided by the internal TL to form integration ratios. Pearson correlation analyses allowed for the assessment of the relationships between fitness measures and the ratios to performance during simulated match play. External measures of the TL alone showed limited correlations with fitness measures. Integrated TL ratios showed significant relationships with fitness measures in players. TD:iTRIMP was correlated with aerobic fitness measures VO2max (r = 0.524; p = 0.006; 95% CI: 0.224 to 0.754; large) and vOBLA (r = 0.559; p = 0.003; 95% CI: 0.254 to 0.854; large). HSD:iTRIMP also correlated with aerobic markers for fitness vLT (r = 0.502; p = 0.009; 95% CI: 0.204 to 0.801; large); vOBLA (r = 0.407; p = 0.039; 95% CI: 0.024 to 0.644; moderate). Interestingly SD:iTRIMP also showed significant correlations with vLT (r = 0.611; p = 0.001; 95% CI: 0.324 to 0.754; large). The current study showed that TL ratios can provide practitioners with a measure of fitness as external performance alone showed limited relationships with aerobic fitness measures.

Keywords

  • iTRIMP
  • intermittent exercise
  • lactate
  • heart rate
  • training load ratios
Open Access

Effect of 8 weeks of free-weight and machine-based strength training on strength and power performance

Published Online: 15 Oct 2016
Page range: 201 - 210

Abstract

Abstract

The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of free-weight and machine-based exercises to increase different strength and speed-strength variables. One hundred twenty male participants (age: 23.8 ± 2.5 years; body height: 181.0 ± 6.8 cm; body mass: 80.2 ± 8.9 kg) joined the study. The 2 experimental groups completed an 8 week periodized strength training program that included 2 training sessions per week. The exercises that were used in the strength training programs were the parallel barbell squat and the leg press. Before and after the training period, the 1-repetition-maximum in the barbell squat and the leg press, the squat jump, the countermovement jump and unilateral isometric force (maximal isometric force and the rate of force development) were evaluated. To compare each group pre vs. post-intervention, analysis of variance with repeated measures and Scheffé post-hoc tests were used. The leg press group increased their 1-repetition-maximum significantly (p < 0.001), while in the squat group such variables as 1-repetition-maximum, the squat jump and the countermovement jump increased significantly (p < 0.001). The maximal isometric force showed no statistically significant result for the repeated measures factor, while the rate of force development of the squat group even showed a statistically significant decrease. Differences between the 2 experimental groups were detected for the squat jump and the countermovement jump. In comparison with the leg press, the squat might be a better strength training exercise for the development of jump performance.

Keywords

  • strength
  • power
  • diagnostics
  • squat
  • leg press
Open Access

Analysis of Setting Efficacy in Young Male and Female Volleyball Players

Published Online: 14 Oct 2016
Page range: 189 - 200

Abstract

Abstract

The main objective of this study was to analyse the variables that predicted setting efficacy in complex I (KI) in volleyball, in formative categories and depending on gender. The study sample was comprised of 5842 game actions carried out by the 16 male category and the 18 female category teams that participated in the Under-16 Spanish Championship. The dependent variable was setting efficacy. The independent variables were grouped into: serve variables (a serve zone, the type of serve, striking technique, an in-game role of the server and serve direction), reception variables (a reception zone, a receiver player and reception efficacy) and setting variables (a setter‘s position, a setting zone, the type of a set, setting technique, a set’s area and tempo of a set). Multinomial logistic regression showed that the best predictive variables of setting efficacy, both in female and male categories, were reception efficacy, setting technique and tempo of a set. In the male category, the jump serve was the greatest predictor of setting efficacy, while in the female category, it was the set’s area. Therefore, in the male category, it was not only the preceding action that affected setting efficacy, but also the serve. On the contrary, in the female category, only variables of the action itself and of the previous action, reception, affected setting efficacy. The results obtained in the present study should be taken into account in the training process of both male and female volleyball players in formative stages.

Key words

  • notational analysis
  • performance
  • gender
Open Access

Comparison of oxygen uptake during and after the execution of resistance exercises and exercises performed on ergometers, matched for intensity

Published Online: 15 Oct 2016
Page range: 179 - 187

Abstract

Abstract

The aim of this study was to compare the values of oxygen uptake (VO2) during and after strength training exercises (STe) and ergometer exercises (Ee), matched for intensity and exercise time. Eight men (24 ± 2.33 years) performed upper and lower body cycling Ee at the individual’s ventilatory threshold (VE/VCO2). The STe session included half squats and the bench press which were performed with a load at the individual blood lactate concentration of 4 mmol/l. Both sessions lasted 30 minutes, alternating 50 seconds of effort with a 10 second transition time between upper and lower body work. The averaged overall VO2 between sessions was significantly higher for Ee (24.96 ± 3.6 ml·kg·min-1) compared to STe (21.66 ± 1.77 ml·kg·min-1) (p = 0.035), but this difference was only seen for the first 20 minutes of exercise. Absolute VO2 values between sessions did not reveal differences. There were more statistically greater values in Ee compared to STe, regarding VO2 of lower limbs (25.44 ± 3.84 ml·kg·min-1 versus 21.83 ± 2·24 ml·kg·min-1; p = 0.038) and upper limbs (24.49 ± 3.84 ml·kg·min-1 versus 21.54 ± 1.77 ml·kg·min-1; p = 0.047). There were further significant differences regarding the moment effect (p<0.0001) of both STe and Ee sessions. With respect to the moment × session effect, only VO2 5 minutes into recovery showed significant differences (p = 0.017). In conclusion, although significant increases in VO2 were seen following Ee compared to STe, it appears that the load/intensity, and not the material/equipment used for the execution of an exercise, are variables that best influence oxygen uptake.

Keywords

  • strength training
  • ergometer exercises
  • aerobic exercise
  • ventilation
Open Access

Physical characteristics of elite adolescent female basketball players and their relationship to match performance

Published Online: 15 Oct 2016
Page range: 167 - 178

Abstract

Abstract

There were two aims of this study: first, to investigate physical fitness and match performance differences between under-16 (U16) and under-18 (U18) female basketball players, and second, to evaluate the relationship between physical fitness and game-related performances. Twenty-three young, female, elite Spanish basketball players (16.2 1.2 years) participated in the study. The sample was divided into two groups: U16 and U18 players. The average scores from pre- and post-season physical fitness measurements were used for subsequent analyses. Anthropometric variables were also measured. To evaluate game performance, game-related statistics, including the number of games and minutes played, points, rebounds, assists, steals and blocks per game, were recorded for every competitive match in one season. When anthropometric and physical performance variables were compared between groups, the U18 group demonstrated significantly (p<0.05) higher values in upper (+21.2%) and lower (+27.11%) limb strength compared to the U16 group. Furthermore, no significant differences between groups were observed in match performance outcomes. Only two performance variables, steals and assists per game, correlated significantly with jump capacity, speed, agility, anaerobic power, repeated sprint ability and aerobic power (p ≤ 0.005). These findings can help optimize training programs for young, elite female basketball players.

Keywords

  • team sports
  • youth female athletes
  • game-statistics
Open Access

Repeated Dribbling Ability in Young Soccer Players: Reproducibility and Variation by the Competitive Level

Published Online: 14 Oct 2016
Page range: 155 - 166

Abstract

Abstract

The intermittent nature of match performance in youth soccer supports relevance of ability to repeatedly produce high-intensity actions with short recovery periods. This study was aimed to examine the reproducibility of a repeated dribbling ability protocol and, additionally, to estimate the contribution of concurrent tests to explain inter-individual variability in repeated dribbling output. The total sample comprised 98 players who were assessed as two independent samples: 31 players were assessed twice to examine reliability of the protocol; and 67 juveniles aged 16.1 ± 0.6 years were compared by the competitive level (local, n = 34; national, n = 33) to examine construct validity. All single measurements appeared to be reasonably reliable: total (ICC = 0.924; 95%CI: 0.841 to 0.963); ideal (ICC = 0.913; 95%CI: 0.820 to 0.958); worst (ICC = 0.813; 95%CI: 0.611 to 0.910). In addition, the percentage of the coefficient of variation was below the critical value of 5% for total (%CV = 3.84; TEM = 2.51 s); ideal (%CV = 3.90, TEM = 2.48 s). Comparisons between local and national players suggested magnitude effects as follows: moderate (d-value ranged from 0.63 to 0.89) for all repeated sprint ability scores; large for total (d = 1.87), ideal (d = 1.72), worst (d = 1.28) and moderate for composite scores: the fatigue index (d = 0.69) and the decrement score (d = 0.67). In summary, the dribbling protocol presented reasonable reproducibility properties and output extracted from the protocol seemed to be independent from biological maturation.

Keywords

  • short-term maximal effort
  • intra-class correlation
  • reliability
Open Access

Role of Vertical Jumps and Anthropometric Variables in Maximal Kicking Ball Velocities in Elite Soccer Players

Published Online: 15 Oct 2016
Page range: 143 - 154

Abstract

Abstract

Kicking is one of the most important skills in soccer and the ability to achieve ma ximal kicking velocity with both legs leads to an advantage for the soccer player. This study examined the relationship be tween kicking ball velocity with both legs using anthropometric measurements and vertical jumps (a squat jump (SJ); a countermovement jump without (CMJ) and with the arm swing (CMJA) and a reactive jump (RJ)). Anthropome tric measurements did not correlate with kicking ball velocity. Vertical jumps correlated significantly with kicking ball velocity using the dominant leg only (r = .47, r = .58, r = .44, r = .51, for SJ, CMJ, CMJA and RJ, respectively) . Maximal kicking velocity with the dominant leg was significantly higher than with the non-dominant leg (t = 18.0 4, p < 0.001). Our results suggest that vertical jumps may be an optimal test to assess neuromuscular skills involved in kicking at maximal speed. Lack of the relationship between vertical jumps and kicking velocity with the non-dominant leg may reflect a difficulty to exhibit the neuromuscular skills during dominant leg kicking.

Keywords

  • kicking performance
  • jumping performance
  • strength
  • dominant leg
  • non-domin ant leg
  • kicking deficit
Open Access

The Role of Adrenomedullin in Cardiovascular Response to Exercise – A Review

Published Online: 14 Oct 2016
Page range: 127 - 142

Abstract

Abstract

Adrenomedullin (ADM), the product of the vascular endothelial and smooth muscle cells, and cardiomyocytes, is considered to be a local factor controlling vascular tone, cardiac contractility and renal sodium excretion. The aim of this article was to review the existing data on the effect of different types of exercise on plasma ADM concentration in healthy men. The results of studies on the effect of dynamic exercise on the plasma ADM are contradictory. Some authors reported an increase in plasma ADM, while others showed a slight decrease or did not observe any changes. The inverse relationship between plasma ADM and mean blood pressure observed during maximal exercise support the concept that ADM might blunt the exercise-induced systemic blood pressure increase. Positive relationships between increases in plasma ADM and those in noradrenaline, atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP) or interleukin-6 observed during prolonged exercise suggest that the sympathetic nervous system and cytokine induction may be involved in ADM release. Increased secretion of ADM and ANP during this type of exercise may be a compensatory mechanism attenuating elevation of blood pressure and preventing deterioration of cardiac function. Studies performed during static exercise have showed an increase in plasma ADM only in older healthy men. Positive correlations between increases in plasma ADM and those in noradrenaline and endothelin-1 may indicate the interaction of these hormones in shaping the cardiovascular response to static exercise. Inverse relationships between exercise-induced changes in plasma ADM and those in cardiovascular indices may be at least partly associated with inotropic action of ADM on the heart. Interactions of ADM with vasoactive peptides, catecholamines and hemodynamic factors demonstrate the potential involvement of this peptide in the regulation of blood pressure and myocardial contractility during exercise.

Keywords

  • vasoactive peptides
  • catecholamines
  • effort
  • cardiovascular indices
Open Access

Determination of Aerobic Power Through a Specific Test for Taekwondo - A Predictive Equation Model

Published Online: 14 Oct 2016
Page range: 117 - 126

Abstract

Abstract

Our aim was to verify the concurrent validity of a maximal taekwondo specific test (TST) to predict VO2max through an explanatory model. Seventeen elite male taekwondo athletes (age: 17.59 ± 4.34 years; body height: 1.72 ± 6.5 m; body mass: 61.3 ± 8.7 kg) performed two graded maximal exercise tests on different days: a 20 m multistage shuttle run test (SRT) and an incremental TST. We recorded test time, VO2max, ventilation, a heart rate and time to exhaustion. Significant differences were found between observed and estimated VO2max values [F (2, 16) = 5.77, p < 0.01]; post-hoc subgroup analysis revealed the existence of significant differences (p = 0.04) between the estimated VO2max value in the SRT and the observed value recorded in the TST (58.4 ± 6.4 ml/kg/min and 52.6 ± 5.2 ml/kg/min, respectively). Our analysis also revealed a moderate correlation between both testing protocols regarding VO2max (r = 0.70; p = 0.005), test time (r = 0.77; p = 0.02) and ventilation (r = 0.69; p = 0.03). There was no proportional bias in the mean difference (t = -1.04; p = 0.313), and there was a level of agreement between both tests. An equation/model was used to estimate VO2max during the TST based on the mean heart rate, test time, body height and mass, which explained 74.3% of the observed VO2max variability. A moderate correlation was found between the observed and predicted VO2max values in the taekwondo TST (r = 0.74, p = 0.001). Our results suggest that an incremental specific test estimates VO2max of elite taekwondo athletes with acceptable concurrent validity.

Keywords

  • aerobic assessment
  • martial arts
  • mechanical specificity
  • validity
Open Access

Monitoring Salivary Immunoglobulin A Responses to Official and Simulated Matches In Elite Young Soccer Players

Published Online: 14 Oct 2016
Page range: 107 - 115

Abstract

Abstract

The purpose of the present study was to examine SIgA responses (concentration [SIgAabs] and a secretion rate [SIgArate]) to official and simulated competitive matches in young soccer players. The sample was composed of 26 male soccer players (age 15.6 ± 1.1 yrs, stature 177.0 ± 6.1 cm, body mass 70.5 ± 5.7 kg). Four soccer matches (two simulated matches [SM] and two official matches [OM]) were conducted. The matches consisted of two halves of 35 min with a 10 min rest interval. Each assessed player participated in only one SM and one OM. All matches were performed in the same week, during the competitive season, and at the same time of the day (9:00 am), separated by 48 h. Saliva samples were collected before and after every match. The session rating of perceived exertion was reported 30 min after each match in order to determine the internal training load (ITL). A significant decrease in SIgAabs and SIgArate after OM was observed when compared to the pre-match value. In addition, the SIgArate was higher at pre-OM when compared to pre-SM. A higher ITL for OM was observed compared to SM. The current findings indicate that OM may lead to a decrease in the main mucosal immunity function parameter of young soccer players that could increase the risk of URTI. Coaches should be aware of it in order to plan appropriate training loads and recovery procedures to avoid or minimize the likelihood of upper respiratory tract infection occurrences.

Keywords

  • SIgA
  • mucosal immunity
  • athletic performance
  • sports
  • adolescents
Open Access

Upper Respiratory Tract Diseases in Athletes in Different Sports Disciplines

Published Online: 14 Oct 2016
Page range: 99 - 106

Abstract

Abstract

Upper respiratory tract diseases in athletes are a very common medical problem. Training conditions in different sports disciplines increase the risk of upper respiratory disease. Epidemiological evidence suggests that heavy acute or chronic exercise is related to an increased incidence of upper respiratory tract infections in athletes. Regular physical exercise at high intensity may lead to transient immunosuppression due to high prevalence of allergic diseases in athletes. Regardless of the cause they can exclude athletes from the training program and significantly impair their performance. In the present work, the most common upper respiratory tract diseases in athletes taking into account the disciplines in which they most often occur were presented. The focus was laid on symptoms, diagnostic methods and pharmacotherapy. Moreover, preventive procedures which can help reduce the occurrence of upper respiratory tract disease in athletes were presented. Management according to anti-doping rules, criteria for return to training and competition as an important issues of athlete’s health were discussed.

Keywords

  • upper respiratory tract infection
  • allergy
  • immunity
Open Access

Neuroendocrine Responses and Body Composition Changes Following Resistance Training Under Normobaric Hypoxia

Published Online: 14 Oct 2016
Page range: 91 - 98

Abstract

Abstract

The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effects of a 6 week resistance training protocol under hypoxic conditions (FiO2 = 12.9%, 4000 m) on muscle hypertrophy. The project included 12 resistance trained male subjects, randomly divided into two experimental groups. Group 1 (n = 6; age 21 ± 2.4 years; body height [BH] 178.8 ± 7.3 cm; body mass [BM] 80.6 ± 12.3 kg) and group 2 (n = 6; age 22 ± 1.5 years; BH 177.8 ± 3.7cm; BM 81.1 ± 7.5 kg). Each group performed resistance exercises alternately under normoxic and hypoxic conditions (4000 m) for 6 weeks. All subjects followed a training protocol that comprised two training sessions per week at an exercise intensity of 70% of 1RM; each training session consisted of eight sets of 10 repetitions of the bench press and barbell squat, with 3 min rest periods. The results indicated that strength training in normobaric hypoxia caused a significant increase in BM (p < 0.01) and fat free mass (FFM) (p < 0.05) in both groups. Additionally, a significant increase (p < 0.05) was observed in IGF-1 concentrations at rest after 6 weeks of hypoxic resistance training in both groups. The results of this study allow to conclude that resistance training (6 weeks) under normobaric hypoxic conditions induces greater muscle hypertrophy compared to training in normoxic conditions.

Keywords

  • hypoxia
  • muscle hypertrophy
  • resistance training
  • endocrine response
Open Access

Left Atrial Enlargement in Young High-Level Endurance Athletes – Another Sign of Athlete’s Heart?

Published Online: 14 Oct 2016
Page range: 81 - 90

Abstract

Abstract

Enlargement of the left atrium is perceived as a part of athlete’s heart syndrome, despite the lack of evidence. So far, left atrial size has not been assessed in the context of exercise capacity. The hypothesis of the present study was that LA enlargement in athletes was physiological and fitness-related condition. In addition, we tried to assess the feasibility and normal values of left atrial strain parameters and their relationship with other signs of athlete’s heart. The study group consisted of 114 international-level rowers (17.5 ± 1.5 years old; 46.5% women). All participants underwent a cardio-pulmonary exercise test and resting transthoracic echocardiography. Beside standard echocardiographic measurements, two dimensional speckle tracking echocardiography was used to assess average peak atrial longitudinal strain, peak atrial contraction strain and early left atrial diastolic longitudinal strain. Mild, moderate and severe left atrial enlargement was present in 27.2°%, 11.4% and 4.4% athletes, respectively. There were no significant differences between subgroups with different range of left atrial enlargement in any of echocardiographic parameters of the left ventricle diastolic function, filling pressure or hypertrophy. A significant correlation was found between the left atrial volume index and maximal aerobic capacity (R > 0.3; p < 0.001). Left atrial strain parameters were independent of atrial size, left ventricle hypertrophy and left ventricle filling pressure. Decreased peak atrial longitudinal strain was observed in 4 individuals (3.5%). We concluded that LA enlargement was common in healthy, young athletes participating in endurance sport disciplines with a high level of static exertion and was strictly correlated with exercise capacity, therefore, could be perceived as another sign of athlete’s heart.

Keywords

  • speckle tracking echocardiography
  • left atrium
  • maximal aerobic capacity
  • strain
Open Access

Re-Evaluation of Old Findings on Stroke Volume Responses to Exercise and Recovery by Nitrous-Oxide Rebreathin

Published Online: 14 Oct 2016
Page range: 73 - 79

Abstract

Abstract

It is important to verify the old findings of Cumming (1972) and Goldberg and Shephard (1980) who showed that stroke volume (SV) may be higher during recovery rather than during exercise, in order to organize the number of intervals throughout training sessions. The purpose of this study was to re-evaluate individual SV responses to various upright cycling exercises using the nitrous-oxide rebreathing method. Nine moderate to well-trained male athletes volunteered to take part in the study (maximal O2 uptake (VO2max): 60.2 ± 7 mL⋅min-1⋅kg-1). Workloads ranging from 40-100% of VO2max were applied to determine individual peak SV (SVpeak) response. Results showed that SV responses were higher during exercise compared to recovery in all exercise loads from 40-100% of VO2max. Mean SV responses to individual SVpeak loads were also higher during exercise compared to recovery (122.9 ± 2.5 versus 105.3 ± 5.93 mL). The highest SV responses to 10 min exercises of 40-70% of VO2max were obtained in the 5th or 7.5th min of each stage (p≤0.05). Meanwhile, during 5 min exercises between 80-100% of VO2max, peak SV responses were observed in the 3rd min of loading (p≤0.05). In conclusion, individual SVpeak levels encountered over wide exercise intensity ranges showed that SVpeak development may also be correlated to exercise intensity corresponding to individual SVpeak loads.

Keywords

  • Inert-gas
  • Interval
  • Training
  • VO
Open Access

The Relationship Between Maximum Isometric Strength and Ball Velocity in the Tennis Serve

Published Online: 14 Oct 2016
Page range: 63 - 71

Abstract

Abstract

The aims of this study were to analyze the relationship between maximum isometric strength levels in different upper and lower limb joints and serve velocity in competitive tennis players as well as to develop a prediction model based on this information. Twelve male competitive tennis players (mean ± SD; age: 17.2 ± 1.0 years; body height: 180.1 ± 6.2 cm; body mass: 71.9 ± 5.6 kg) were tested using maximum isometric strength levels (i.e., wrist, elbow and shoulder flexion and extension; leg and back extension; shoulder external and internal rotation). Serve velocity was measured using a radar gun. Results showed a strong positive relationship between serve velocity and shoulder internal rotation (r = 0.67; p < 0.05). Low to moderate correlations were also found between serve velocity and wrist, elbow and shoulder flexion – extension, leg and back extension and shoulder external rotation (r = 0.36 – 0.53; p = 0.377 – 0.054). Bivariate and multivariate models for predicting serve velocity were developed, with shoulder flexion and internal rotation explaining 55% of the variance in serve velocity (r = 0.74; p < 0.001). The maximum isometric strength level in shoulder internal rotation was strongly related to serve velocity, and a large part of the variability in serve velocity was explained by the maximum isometric strength levels in shoulder internal rotation and shoulder flexion.

Keywords

  • serve velocity
  • isometric testing
  • shoulder internal rotation
Open Access

The Importance of Postural Control in Relation to Technical Abilities in Small-Sided Soccer Games

Published Online: 14 Oct 2016
Page range: 51 - 61

Abstract

Abstract

Making assessments regarding postural control and balance is very important for injury prevention in soccer. However, there has been no study that has associated postural control variables with branch-specific technical properties in a game. The aim of the present study was to determine the relationships between variables designating postural control levels and technical performance variables in different (1:1, 2:2 and 3:3) small-sided games (SSGs). Sixteen trained male amateur soccer players volunteered to take part in the study (age 17.2 ± 1.02 years, body height 176.25 ± 0.07 m, body mass 67.67 ± 13.27 kg). Following familiarization sessions, postural control was evaluated using one-leg and both-leg quiet-stance positions by measuring postural sway with a Tekscan HR Mat™ in anterior–posterior and medial–lateral directions. Later, 1:1, 2:2 and 3:3 SSGs were performed at two-day intervals and the technical variables specified for each game were analyzed. A Spearman’s rank-order correlation analysis demonstrated the relationship between postural control and soccer-specific technical variables in 1:1 (r-values ranging from 0.582 to 0.776), 2:2 (rvalues ranging from 0.511 to 0.740) and 3:3 (r-values ranging from 0.502 to 0.834) SSGs. In addition, a Wilcoxon signed rank test revealed differences between SSGs in terms of several variables. The results of the study showed that higher postural control levels are among the important variables that affect success in the performance of technical skills under rival pressure and suddenly changing conditions. Therefore, it is recommended that in addition to its use for injury prevention purposes, balance training should be conducted to improve branch-specific technical skills and to increase the levels of their successful performance in a game.

Keywords

  • balance
  • soccer
  • technical actions
  • pedobarography
Open Access

Effect of an Arm Swing on Countermovement Vertical Jump Performance in Elite Volleyball Players

Published Online: 14 Oct 2016
Page range: 41 - 50

Abstract

Abstract

The aim of this study was to determine how elite volleyball players employed the arm swing (AS) to enhance their jump performance. The study assessed how the AS influenced the duration and magnitude of the vertical ground reaction force (VGRF) during the main phases (preparatory, braking and accelerating) of the countermovement vertical jump (CMVJ), the starting position of the body at the beginning of the accelerating phase and the moment when the AS began contributing to increasing the jump height. Eighteen elite volleyball players performed three CMVJs with and without an AS. Kinetics and kinematics data were collected using two Kistler force plates and the C-motion system. The time and force variables were evaluated based on the VGRF, and the position of the body and the trajectory of the arm movement were determined using kinematic analysis. The AS improved the CMVJ by increasing the jump height by 38% relative to jumping without an AS. The AS significantly shortened the braking phase and prolonged the accelerating phase, however, it did not influence the preparatory phase or the overall jump duration. The AS also significantly increased the average force during the accelerating phase as well as the accelerating impulse. The AS upward began at 76% into the overall jump duration. The AS did not influence the body position at the beginning of the accelerating phase. These findings can be used to improve performance of the CMVJ with the AS and in teaching beginning volleyball players proper jumping technique.

Keywords

  • jump phases
  • jump height
  • VGRF
  • kinematic analysis
  • kinetic analysis
Open Access

Maximal Power of the Lower Limbs of Youth Gymnasts and Biomechanical Indicators of the Forward Handspring Vault Versus the Sports Result

Published Online: 14 Oct 2016
Page range: 33 - 40

Abstract

Abstract

The aim of the study was to define the relationship between maximal power of lower limbs, the biomechanics of the forward handspring vault and the score received during a gymnastics competition. The research involved 42 gymnasts aged 9-11 years competing in the Poland’s Junior Championships. The study consisted of three stages: first -estimating the level of indicators of maximal power of lower limbs tested on a force plate during the countermovement jump; second - estimating the level of biomechanical indicators of the front handspring vault. For both mentioned groups of indicators and the score received by gymnasts during the vault, linear correlation analyses were made. The last stage consisted of conducting multiple regression analysis in order to predict the performance level of the front handspring vault. Results showed a positive correlation (0.401, p < 0.05) of lower limbs’ maximal power (1400 ± 502 W) with the judges’ score for the front handstand vault (13.38 ± 1.02 points). However, the highest significant (p < 0.001) correlation with the judges’ score was revealed in the angle of the hip joint in the second phase of the flight (196.00 ± 16.64°) and the contact time of hands with the vault surface (0.264 ± 0.118 s), where correlation coefficients were: -0.671 and -0.634, respectively. In conclusion, the angles of the hip joint in the second phase of the flight and when the hands touched the vault surface proved to be the most important indicators for the received score.

Keywords

  • countermovement jump
  • kinematic analysis
  • gymnastics
  • sports competition
  • coaching
Open Access

Effects of Acute Fatigue of the Hip Flexor Muscles on Hamstring Muscle Extensibility

Published Online: 14 Oct 2016
Page range: 23 - 31

Abstract

Abstract

The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the influence of acute fatigue of the hip flexor muscles on scores attained in tests frequently used in literature to measure hamstring muscle extensibility, namely the passive straight leg raise (PSLR), active straight leg raise (ASLR), passive knee extension (PKE), active knee extension (AKE), sit-and-reach (SR) and toe-touch (TT) tests. A total of seventy-five healthy and recreationally active adults voluntarily participated in this study. To reach fatigue, the participants actively lifted their legs alternately as many times as possible. In the passive tests, the results were 7.10 ± 5.21° and 5.68 ± 4.54° higher (p < 0.01) for PSLR and PKE tests, respectively, after acute fatigue. However, in the ASLR test, the results were lower post-fatigue than pre-fatigue (mean difference = -5.30° ± 9.51°; p < 0.01). The AKE, SR and TT tests did not show significant differences between pre- and post-fatigue (p > 0.05). Moderate (r = 0.40) to high (r = 0.97) correlation coefficients were found, which were statistically significant among all the measured flexibility tests both pre- and post-fatigue. In conclusion, the active implication of the hip flexor muscles until reaching fatigue had acute influences on the results of the PSLR, PKE and ASLR tests, but not on the results of the AKE, SR and TT tests. It is recommended to use the AKE test to assess hamstring muscle extensibility in situations where athletes show fatigue in their hip flexor muscles.

Keywords

  • flexibility
  • stretching
  • physical exercise
  • angular test
  • linear test
Open Access

The Influence of X-Factor (Trunk Rotation) and Experience on the Quality of the Badminton Forehand Smash

Published Online: 14 Oct 2016
Page range: 9 - 22

Abstract

Abstract

No existing studies of badminton technique have used full-body biomechanical modeling based on three-dimensional (3D) motion capture to quantify the kinematics of the sport. The purposes of the current study were to: 1) quantitatively describe kinematic characteristics of the forehand smash using a 15-segment, full-body biomechanical model, 2) examine and compare kinematic differences between novice and skilled players with a focus on trunk rotation (the X-factor), and 3) through this comparison, identify principal parameters that contributed to the quality of the skill. Together, these findings have the potential to assist coaches and players in the teaching and learning of the forehand smash. Twenty-four participants were divided into two groups (novice, n = 10 and skilled, n = 14). A 10-camera VICON MX40 motion capture system (200 frames/s) was used to quantify full-body kinematics, racket movement and the flight of the shuttlecock. Results confirmed that skilled players utilized more trunk rotation than novices. In two ways, trunk rotation (the X-factor) was shown to be vital for maximizing the release speed of the shuttlecock – an important measure of the quality of the forehand smash. First, more trunk rotation invoked greater lengthening in the pectoralis major (PM) during the preparation phase of the stroke which helped generate an explosive muscle contraction. Second, larger range of motion (ROM) induced by trunk rotation facilitated a whip-like (proximal to distal) control sequence among the body segments responsible for increasing racket speed. These results suggest that training intended to increase the efficacy of this skill needs to focus on how the X-factor is incorporated into the kinematic chain of the arm and the racket.

Keywords

  • 3D motion capture
  • full-body modeling
  • kinematics
  • whip-like movement
Open Access

Zika Virus Infection, Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games in Rio 2016, and Sports Performance

Published Online: 14 Oct 2016
Page range: 5 - 7

Abstract

25 Articles

Research article

Open Access

Physiological, Nutritional and Performance Profiles of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Athletes

Published Online: 14 Oct 2016
Page range: 261 - 271

Abstract

Abstract

This study analysed the physiological, nutritional and performance profiles of athletes practicing Brazilian jiu-jitsu. To this end, 15 athletes that practiced Brazilian jiu-jitsu (aged: 28 ± 5 years; 8 brown belts and 7 black belts; training experience: 11 ± 4 years) underwent anthropometric measurements (body composition and somatotype), dietary evaluation (24 h recall) and physical fitness tests (movement time, dynamometer handgrip, kimono grip strength, vertical jump and sit-and-reach tests). The athletes had 12.7 ± 4.8% of body fat, 59.2 ± 5.0% of muscle mass and their somatotype was dominated by the mesomorphic component (5.3 ± 2.0), followed by endomorphic (3.7 ± 1.5) and ectomorphic (1.4 ± 0.9) components. Nutritional assessment suggested a diet consisting of 54 ± 7% of carbohydrates, 19 ± 4% of protein and 27 ± 6% of lipids. Movement time on the handgrip tests was 0.42 ± 0.05 s, for handgrip strength, 53 ± 7 kgf was found for the dominant hand and 50 ± 9 kgf for the non-dominant hand. For the countermovement jump, the jiu-jitsu athletes reached 41 ± 5 cm. Athletes remained 30 ± 14 s in the maximum static suspension test gripping a kimono, and reached 27 ± 8 cm in the sit-and-reach test. Overall the sample presented average levels of body fat, elevated muscle mass and a predominantly mesomorphic somatotype. Diet was generally poor, with low carbohydrate intake, high protein intake and adequate lipid intake. Maximum isometric handgrip strength was consistent with observations of other athletes in this sport discipline. However, the performance in the maximum static suspension test gripping a kimono was lower than in other Brazilian jiu-jitsu athletes. Movement time was comparable and lower body muscle power was worse compared to athletes in similar sports. Additionally, flexibility was rated as poor.

Keywords

  • combat sport
  • sports performance
  • physical fitness evaluation
  • anthropometrics
Open Access

Analysis of Tests Evaluating Sport Climbers’ Strength and Isometric Endurance

Published Online: 14 Oct 2016
Page range: 249 - 260

Abstract

Abstract

The present study was designed to determine which types of specific tests provide an effective evaluation of strength and endurance in highly trained competitive sport climbers. The research process consisted of three basic components: the measurement of selected somatic characteristics of the climbers, the assessment of their physical conditioning, and a search for correlations between the anthropometric and “conditioning” variables on the one hand, and climber’s performance on the other. The sample of subjects consisted of 14 experienced volunteer climbers capable of handling 7a- 8a+/b on-sight rock climbing grades. The strongest correlations (Spearman’s rank) were found between climber’s competence and the relative results of the finger strength test (r = 0.7); much lower, but still statistically significant coefficients were found between the level of competence and the results of the muscle endurance tests (r = 0.53 – 0.57). Climbers aspiring to attain an elite level must have strong finger and forearm muscles, but most of all, they must be capable of releasing their potential during specific motor capability tests engaging these parts of the body. The forearm muscles of elite climbers must also be very resistant to fatigue. Since highly trained athletes vary only slightly in body mass, this variable does not have a major effect on their performance during strength and endurance tests.

Keywords

  • rock climbing
  • training
  • physical performance
  • biomechanics
Open Access

Effects of Plyometric Training on Physical Fitness in Team Sport Athletes: A Systematic Review

Published Online: 14 Oct 2016
Page range: 231 - 247

Abstract

Abstract

Plyometric training (PT) is a very popular form of physical conditioning of healthy individuals that has been extensively studied over the last decades. In this article, we critically review the available literature related to PT and its effects on physical fitness in team sport athletes. We also considered studies that combined PT with other popular training modalities (e.g. strength/sprint training). Generally, short-term PT (i.e. 2-3 sessions a week for 4-16 weeks) improves jump height, sprint and agility performances in team sport players. Literature shows that short PT (<8 weeks) has the potential to enhance a wide range of athletic performance (i.e. jumping, sprinting and agility) in children and young adult amateur players. Nevertheless, 6 to 7 weeks training appears to be too short to improve physical performance in elite male players. Available evidence suggests that short-term PT on non-rigid surfaces (i.e. aquatic, grass or sand-based PT) could elicit similar increases in jumping, sprinting and agility performances as traditional PT. Furthermore, the combination of various plyometric exercises and the bilateral and unilateral jumps could improve these performances more than the use of single plyometric drills or traditional PT. Thus, the present review shows a greater effect of PT alone on jump and sprint (30 m sprint performance only) performances than the combination of PT with sprint/strength training. Although many issues related to PT remain to be resolved, the results presented in this review allow recommending the use of well-designed and sport-specific PT as a safe and effective training modality for improving jumping and sprint performance as well as agility in team sport athletes.

Keywords

  • plyometric training
  • jumping
  • sprint
  • agility
  • team sport athletes
Open Access

Game-Related Performance Factors in four European Men’s Professional Volleyball Championships

Published Online: 14 Oct 2016
Page range: 223 - 230

Abstract

Abstract

The present study was designed to assess the relevance of game-related performance factors as outcome predictors in high-level volleyball. To carry out the analysis, the official box scores of 399 matches played by 47 different teams in four different European male professional volleyball leagues (Italy, Poland, Germany and Turkey) during the 2013-14 regular season were analyzed. A logistic mixed model was performed to determine the effects of different variables in matches’ outcomes. According to the multivariate analysis the following factors were significantly associated with winning matches: the number of scorers (OR = 1.32; CI: 1.09 – 1.59), service errors (OR = 0.91; CI: 0.87 – 0.95), service points (OR = 1.25; CI: 1.15 -1.36), reception errors (OR = 0.79; CI: 0.74 – 0.84), the percentage of positive receptions (OR = 1.02; CI: 1.00 -1.04) and blocked balls (OR = 1.17; CI: 1.11 – 1.26). Team category 2 (OR = 0.39; CI: 0.24 – 0.63) and team category 3 (OR = 0.15; CI: 0.09 – 0.25) were significantly associated with losing matches. These findings can contribute to a better understanding of performance indicators in professional volleyball, helping coaches and decision makers to better determine the importance of particular game factors.

Keywords

  • performance analysis
  • volleyball
  • logistic mixed models
  • official box scores
  • team sports
Open Access

The Integration of Internal and External Training Load Metrics in Hurling

Published Online: 15 Oct 2016
Page range: 211 - 221

Abstract

Abstract

The current study aimed to assess the relationship between the hurling player’s fitness profile and integrated training load (TL) metrics. Twenty-five hurling players performed treadmill testing for VO2max, the speed at blood lactate concentrations of 2 mmol•L-1 (vLT) and 4 mmol•L-1 (vOBLA) and the heart rate-blood lactate profile for calculation of individual training impulse (iTRIMP). The total distance (TD; m), high speed distance (HSD; m) and sprint distance (SD; m) covered were measured using GPS technology (4-Hz, VX Sport, Lower Hutt, New Zealand) which allowed for the measurement of the external TL. The external TL was divided by the internal TL to form integration ratios. Pearson correlation analyses allowed for the assessment of the relationships between fitness measures and the ratios to performance during simulated match play. External measures of the TL alone showed limited correlations with fitness measures. Integrated TL ratios showed significant relationships with fitness measures in players. TD:iTRIMP was correlated with aerobic fitness measures VO2max (r = 0.524; p = 0.006; 95% CI: 0.224 to 0.754; large) and vOBLA (r = 0.559; p = 0.003; 95% CI: 0.254 to 0.854; large). HSD:iTRIMP also correlated with aerobic markers for fitness vLT (r = 0.502; p = 0.009; 95% CI: 0.204 to 0.801; large); vOBLA (r = 0.407; p = 0.039; 95% CI: 0.024 to 0.644; moderate). Interestingly SD:iTRIMP also showed significant correlations with vLT (r = 0.611; p = 0.001; 95% CI: 0.324 to 0.754; large). The current study showed that TL ratios can provide practitioners with a measure of fitness as external performance alone showed limited relationships with aerobic fitness measures.

Keywords

  • iTRIMP
  • intermittent exercise
  • lactate
  • heart rate
  • training load ratios
Open Access

Effect of 8 weeks of free-weight and machine-based strength training on strength and power performance

Published Online: 15 Oct 2016
Page range: 201 - 210

Abstract

Abstract

The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of free-weight and machine-based exercises to increase different strength and speed-strength variables. One hundred twenty male participants (age: 23.8 ± 2.5 years; body height: 181.0 ± 6.8 cm; body mass: 80.2 ± 8.9 kg) joined the study. The 2 experimental groups completed an 8 week periodized strength training program that included 2 training sessions per week. The exercises that were used in the strength training programs were the parallel barbell squat and the leg press. Before and after the training period, the 1-repetition-maximum in the barbell squat and the leg press, the squat jump, the countermovement jump and unilateral isometric force (maximal isometric force and the rate of force development) were evaluated. To compare each group pre vs. post-intervention, analysis of variance with repeated measures and Scheffé post-hoc tests were used. The leg press group increased their 1-repetition-maximum significantly (p < 0.001), while in the squat group such variables as 1-repetition-maximum, the squat jump and the countermovement jump increased significantly (p < 0.001). The maximal isometric force showed no statistically significant result for the repeated measures factor, while the rate of force development of the squat group even showed a statistically significant decrease. Differences between the 2 experimental groups were detected for the squat jump and the countermovement jump. In comparison with the leg press, the squat might be a better strength training exercise for the development of jump performance.

Keywords

  • strength
  • power
  • diagnostics
  • squat
  • leg press
Open Access

Analysis of Setting Efficacy in Young Male and Female Volleyball Players

Published Online: 14 Oct 2016
Page range: 189 - 200

Abstract

Abstract

The main objective of this study was to analyse the variables that predicted setting efficacy in complex I (KI) in volleyball, in formative categories and depending on gender. The study sample was comprised of 5842 game actions carried out by the 16 male category and the 18 female category teams that participated in the Under-16 Spanish Championship. The dependent variable was setting efficacy. The independent variables were grouped into: serve variables (a serve zone, the type of serve, striking technique, an in-game role of the server and serve direction), reception variables (a reception zone, a receiver player and reception efficacy) and setting variables (a setter‘s position, a setting zone, the type of a set, setting technique, a set’s area and tempo of a set). Multinomial logistic regression showed that the best predictive variables of setting efficacy, both in female and male categories, were reception efficacy, setting technique and tempo of a set. In the male category, the jump serve was the greatest predictor of setting efficacy, while in the female category, it was the set’s area. Therefore, in the male category, it was not only the preceding action that affected setting efficacy, but also the serve. On the contrary, in the female category, only variables of the action itself and of the previous action, reception, affected setting efficacy. The results obtained in the present study should be taken into account in the training process of both male and female volleyball players in formative stages.

Key words

  • notational analysis
  • performance
  • gender
Open Access

Comparison of oxygen uptake during and after the execution of resistance exercises and exercises performed on ergometers, matched for intensity

Published Online: 15 Oct 2016
Page range: 179 - 187

Abstract

Abstract

The aim of this study was to compare the values of oxygen uptake (VO2) during and after strength training exercises (STe) and ergometer exercises (Ee), matched for intensity and exercise time. Eight men (24 ± 2.33 years) performed upper and lower body cycling Ee at the individual’s ventilatory threshold (VE/VCO2). The STe session included half squats and the bench press which were performed with a load at the individual blood lactate concentration of 4 mmol/l. Both sessions lasted 30 minutes, alternating 50 seconds of effort with a 10 second transition time between upper and lower body work. The averaged overall VO2 between sessions was significantly higher for Ee (24.96 ± 3.6 ml·kg·min-1) compared to STe (21.66 ± 1.77 ml·kg·min-1) (p = 0.035), but this difference was only seen for the first 20 minutes of exercise. Absolute VO2 values between sessions did not reveal differences. There were more statistically greater values in Ee compared to STe, regarding VO2 of lower limbs (25.44 ± 3.84 ml·kg·min-1 versus 21.83 ± 2·24 ml·kg·min-1; p = 0.038) and upper limbs (24.49 ± 3.84 ml·kg·min-1 versus 21.54 ± 1.77 ml·kg·min-1; p = 0.047). There were further significant differences regarding the moment effect (p<0.0001) of both STe and Ee sessions. With respect to the moment × session effect, only VO2 5 minutes into recovery showed significant differences (p = 0.017). In conclusion, although significant increases in VO2 were seen following Ee compared to STe, it appears that the load/intensity, and not the material/equipment used for the execution of an exercise, are variables that best influence oxygen uptake.

Keywords

  • strength training
  • ergometer exercises
  • aerobic exercise
  • ventilation
Open Access

Physical characteristics of elite adolescent female basketball players and their relationship to match performance

Published Online: 15 Oct 2016
Page range: 167 - 178

Abstract

Abstract

There were two aims of this study: first, to investigate physical fitness and match performance differences between under-16 (U16) and under-18 (U18) female basketball players, and second, to evaluate the relationship between physical fitness and game-related performances. Twenty-three young, female, elite Spanish basketball players (16.2 1.2 years) participated in the study. The sample was divided into two groups: U16 and U18 players. The average scores from pre- and post-season physical fitness measurements were used for subsequent analyses. Anthropometric variables were also measured. To evaluate game performance, game-related statistics, including the number of games and minutes played, points, rebounds, assists, steals and blocks per game, were recorded for every competitive match in one season. When anthropometric and physical performance variables were compared between groups, the U18 group demonstrated significantly (p<0.05) higher values in upper (+21.2%) and lower (+27.11%) limb strength compared to the U16 group. Furthermore, no significant differences between groups were observed in match performance outcomes. Only two performance variables, steals and assists per game, correlated significantly with jump capacity, speed, agility, anaerobic power, repeated sprint ability and aerobic power (p ≤ 0.005). These findings can help optimize training programs for young, elite female basketball players.

Keywords

  • team sports
  • youth female athletes
  • game-statistics
Open Access

Repeated Dribbling Ability in Young Soccer Players: Reproducibility and Variation by the Competitive Level

Published Online: 14 Oct 2016
Page range: 155 - 166

Abstract

Abstract

The intermittent nature of match performance in youth soccer supports relevance of ability to repeatedly produce high-intensity actions with short recovery periods. This study was aimed to examine the reproducibility of a repeated dribbling ability protocol and, additionally, to estimate the contribution of concurrent tests to explain inter-individual variability in repeated dribbling output. The total sample comprised 98 players who were assessed as two independent samples: 31 players were assessed twice to examine reliability of the protocol; and 67 juveniles aged 16.1 ± 0.6 years were compared by the competitive level (local, n = 34; national, n = 33) to examine construct validity. All single measurements appeared to be reasonably reliable: total (ICC = 0.924; 95%CI: 0.841 to 0.963); ideal (ICC = 0.913; 95%CI: 0.820 to 0.958); worst (ICC = 0.813; 95%CI: 0.611 to 0.910). In addition, the percentage of the coefficient of variation was below the critical value of 5% for total (%CV = 3.84; TEM = 2.51 s); ideal (%CV = 3.90, TEM = 2.48 s). Comparisons between local and national players suggested magnitude effects as follows: moderate (d-value ranged from 0.63 to 0.89) for all repeated sprint ability scores; large for total (d = 1.87), ideal (d = 1.72), worst (d = 1.28) and moderate for composite scores: the fatigue index (d = 0.69) and the decrement score (d = 0.67). In summary, the dribbling protocol presented reasonable reproducibility properties and output extracted from the protocol seemed to be independent from biological maturation.

Keywords

  • short-term maximal effort
  • intra-class correlation
  • reliability
Open Access

Role of Vertical Jumps and Anthropometric Variables in Maximal Kicking Ball Velocities in Elite Soccer Players

Published Online: 15 Oct 2016
Page range: 143 - 154

Abstract

Abstract

Kicking is one of the most important skills in soccer and the ability to achieve ma ximal kicking velocity with both legs leads to an advantage for the soccer player. This study examined the relationship be tween kicking ball velocity with both legs using anthropometric measurements and vertical jumps (a squat jump (SJ); a countermovement jump without (CMJ) and with the arm swing (CMJA) and a reactive jump (RJ)). Anthropome tric measurements did not correlate with kicking ball velocity. Vertical jumps correlated significantly with kicking ball velocity using the dominant leg only (r = .47, r = .58, r = .44, r = .51, for SJ, CMJ, CMJA and RJ, respectively) . Maximal kicking velocity with the dominant leg was significantly higher than with the non-dominant leg (t = 18.0 4, p < 0.001). Our results suggest that vertical jumps may be an optimal test to assess neuromuscular skills involved in kicking at maximal speed. Lack of the relationship between vertical jumps and kicking velocity with the non-dominant leg may reflect a difficulty to exhibit the neuromuscular skills during dominant leg kicking.

Keywords

  • kicking performance
  • jumping performance
  • strength
  • dominant leg
  • non-domin ant leg
  • kicking deficit
Open Access

The Role of Adrenomedullin in Cardiovascular Response to Exercise – A Review

Published Online: 14 Oct 2016
Page range: 127 - 142

Abstract

Abstract

Adrenomedullin (ADM), the product of the vascular endothelial and smooth muscle cells, and cardiomyocytes, is considered to be a local factor controlling vascular tone, cardiac contractility and renal sodium excretion. The aim of this article was to review the existing data on the effect of different types of exercise on plasma ADM concentration in healthy men. The results of studies on the effect of dynamic exercise on the plasma ADM are contradictory. Some authors reported an increase in plasma ADM, while others showed a slight decrease or did not observe any changes. The inverse relationship between plasma ADM and mean blood pressure observed during maximal exercise support the concept that ADM might blunt the exercise-induced systemic blood pressure increase. Positive relationships between increases in plasma ADM and those in noradrenaline, atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP) or interleukin-6 observed during prolonged exercise suggest that the sympathetic nervous system and cytokine induction may be involved in ADM release. Increased secretion of ADM and ANP during this type of exercise may be a compensatory mechanism attenuating elevation of blood pressure and preventing deterioration of cardiac function. Studies performed during static exercise have showed an increase in plasma ADM only in older healthy men. Positive correlations between increases in plasma ADM and those in noradrenaline and endothelin-1 may indicate the interaction of these hormones in shaping the cardiovascular response to static exercise. Inverse relationships between exercise-induced changes in plasma ADM and those in cardiovascular indices may be at least partly associated with inotropic action of ADM on the heart. Interactions of ADM with vasoactive peptides, catecholamines and hemodynamic factors demonstrate the potential involvement of this peptide in the regulation of blood pressure and myocardial contractility during exercise.

Keywords

  • vasoactive peptides
  • catecholamines
  • effort
  • cardiovascular indices
Open Access

Determination of Aerobic Power Through a Specific Test for Taekwondo - A Predictive Equation Model

Published Online: 14 Oct 2016
Page range: 117 - 126

Abstract

Abstract

Our aim was to verify the concurrent validity of a maximal taekwondo specific test (TST) to predict VO2max through an explanatory model. Seventeen elite male taekwondo athletes (age: 17.59 ± 4.34 years; body height: 1.72 ± 6.5 m; body mass: 61.3 ± 8.7 kg) performed two graded maximal exercise tests on different days: a 20 m multistage shuttle run test (SRT) and an incremental TST. We recorded test time, VO2max, ventilation, a heart rate and time to exhaustion. Significant differences were found between observed and estimated VO2max values [F (2, 16) = 5.77, p < 0.01]; post-hoc subgroup analysis revealed the existence of significant differences (p = 0.04) between the estimated VO2max value in the SRT and the observed value recorded in the TST (58.4 ± 6.4 ml/kg/min and 52.6 ± 5.2 ml/kg/min, respectively). Our analysis also revealed a moderate correlation between both testing protocols regarding VO2max (r = 0.70; p = 0.005), test time (r = 0.77; p = 0.02) and ventilation (r = 0.69; p = 0.03). There was no proportional bias in the mean difference (t = -1.04; p = 0.313), and there was a level of agreement between both tests. An equation/model was used to estimate VO2max during the TST based on the mean heart rate, test time, body height and mass, which explained 74.3% of the observed VO2max variability. A moderate correlation was found between the observed and predicted VO2max values in the taekwondo TST (r = 0.74, p = 0.001). Our results suggest that an incremental specific test estimates VO2max of elite taekwondo athletes with acceptable concurrent validity.

Keywords

  • aerobic assessment
  • martial arts
  • mechanical specificity
  • validity
Open Access

Monitoring Salivary Immunoglobulin A Responses to Official and Simulated Matches In Elite Young Soccer Players

Published Online: 14 Oct 2016
Page range: 107 - 115

Abstract

Abstract

The purpose of the present study was to examine SIgA responses (concentration [SIgAabs] and a secretion rate [SIgArate]) to official and simulated competitive matches in young soccer players. The sample was composed of 26 male soccer players (age 15.6 ± 1.1 yrs, stature 177.0 ± 6.1 cm, body mass 70.5 ± 5.7 kg). Four soccer matches (two simulated matches [SM] and two official matches [OM]) were conducted. The matches consisted of two halves of 35 min with a 10 min rest interval. Each assessed player participated in only one SM and one OM. All matches were performed in the same week, during the competitive season, and at the same time of the day (9:00 am), separated by 48 h. Saliva samples were collected before and after every match. The session rating of perceived exertion was reported 30 min after each match in order to determine the internal training load (ITL). A significant decrease in SIgAabs and SIgArate after OM was observed when compared to the pre-match value. In addition, the SIgArate was higher at pre-OM when compared to pre-SM. A higher ITL for OM was observed compared to SM. The current findings indicate that OM may lead to a decrease in the main mucosal immunity function parameter of young soccer players that could increase the risk of URTI. Coaches should be aware of it in order to plan appropriate training loads and recovery procedures to avoid or minimize the likelihood of upper respiratory tract infection occurrences.

Keywords

  • SIgA
  • mucosal immunity
  • athletic performance
  • sports
  • adolescents
Open Access

Upper Respiratory Tract Diseases in Athletes in Different Sports Disciplines

Published Online: 14 Oct 2016
Page range: 99 - 106

Abstract

Abstract

Upper respiratory tract diseases in athletes are a very common medical problem. Training conditions in different sports disciplines increase the risk of upper respiratory disease. Epidemiological evidence suggests that heavy acute or chronic exercise is related to an increased incidence of upper respiratory tract infections in athletes. Regular physical exercise at high intensity may lead to transient immunosuppression due to high prevalence of allergic diseases in athletes. Regardless of the cause they can exclude athletes from the training program and significantly impair their performance. In the present work, the most common upper respiratory tract diseases in athletes taking into account the disciplines in which they most often occur were presented. The focus was laid on symptoms, diagnostic methods and pharmacotherapy. Moreover, preventive procedures which can help reduce the occurrence of upper respiratory tract disease in athletes were presented. Management according to anti-doping rules, criteria for return to training and competition as an important issues of athlete’s health were discussed.

Keywords

  • upper respiratory tract infection
  • allergy
  • immunity
Open Access

Neuroendocrine Responses and Body Composition Changes Following Resistance Training Under Normobaric Hypoxia

Published Online: 14 Oct 2016
Page range: 91 - 98

Abstract

Abstract

The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effects of a 6 week resistance training protocol under hypoxic conditions (FiO2 = 12.9%, 4000 m) on muscle hypertrophy. The project included 12 resistance trained male subjects, randomly divided into two experimental groups. Group 1 (n = 6; age 21 ± 2.4 years; body height [BH] 178.8 ± 7.3 cm; body mass [BM] 80.6 ± 12.3 kg) and group 2 (n = 6; age 22 ± 1.5 years; BH 177.8 ± 3.7cm; BM 81.1 ± 7.5 kg). Each group performed resistance exercises alternately under normoxic and hypoxic conditions (4000 m) for 6 weeks. All subjects followed a training protocol that comprised two training sessions per week at an exercise intensity of 70% of 1RM; each training session consisted of eight sets of 10 repetitions of the bench press and barbell squat, with 3 min rest periods. The results indicated that strength training in normobaric hypoxia caused a significant increase in BM (p < 0.01) and fat free mass (FFM) (p < 0.05) in both groups. Additionally, a significant increase (p < 0.05) was observed in IGF-1 concentrations at rest after 6 weeks of hypoxic resistance training in both groups. The results of this study allow to conclude that resistance training (6 weeks) under normobaric hypoxic conditions induces greater muscle hypertrophy compared to training in normoxic conditions.

Keywords

  • hypoxia
  • muscle hypertrophy
  • resistance training
  • endocrine response
Open Access

Left Atrial Enlargement in Young High-Level Endurance Athletes – Another Sign of Athlete’s Heart?

Published Online: 14 Oct 2016
Page range: 81 - 90

Abstract

Abstract

Enlargement of the left atrium is perceived as a part of athlete’s heart syndrome, despite the lack of evidence. So far, left atrial size has not been assessed in the context of exercise capacity. The hypothesis of the present study was that LA enlargement in athletes was physiological and fitness-related condition. In addition, we tried to assess the feasibility and normal values of left atrial strain parameters and their relationship with other signs of athlete’s heart. The study group consisted of 114 international-level rowers (17.5 ± 1.5 years old; 46.5% women). All participants underwent a cardio-pulmonary exercise test and resting transthoracic echocardiography. Beside standard echocardiographic measurements, two dimensional speckle tracking echocardiography was used to assess average peak atrial longitudinal strain, peak atrial contraction strain and early left atrial diastolic longitudinal strain. Mild, moderate and severe left atrial enlargement was present in 27.2°%, 11.4% and 4.4% athletes, respectively. There were no significant differences between subgroups with different range of left atrial enlargement in any of echocardiographic parameters of the left ventricle diastolic function, filling pressure or hypertrophy. A significant correlation was found between the left atrial volume index and maximal aerobic capacity (R > 0.3; p < 0.001). Left atrial strain parameters were independent of atrial size, left ventricle hypertrophy and left ventricle filling pressure. Decreased peak atrial longitudinal strain was observed in 4 individuals (3.5%). We concluded that LA enlargement was common in healthy, young athletes participating in endurance sport disciplines with a high level of static exertion and was strictly correlated with exercise capacity, therefore, could be perceived as another sign of athlete’s heart.

Keywords

  • speckle tracking echocardiography
  • left atrium
  • maximal aerobic capacity
  • strain
Open Access

Re-Evaluation of Old Findings on Stroke Volume Responses to Exercise and Recovery by Nitrous-Oxide Rebreathin

Published Online: 14 Oct 2016
Page range: 73 - 79

Abstract

Abstract

It is important to verify the old findings of Cumming (1972) and Goldberg and Shephard (1980) who showed that stroke volume (SV) may be higher during recovery rather than during exercise, in order to organize the number of intervals throughout training sessions. The purpose of this study was to re-evaluate individual SV responses to various upright cycling exercises using the nitrous-oxide rebreathing method. Nine moderate to well-trained male athletes volunteered to take part in the study (maximal O2 uptake (VO2max): 60.2 ± 7 mL⋅min-1⋅kg-1). Workloads ranging from 40-100% of VO2max were applied to determine individual peak SV (SVpeak) response. Results showed that SV responses were higher during exercise compared to recovery in all exercise loads from 40-100% of VO2max. Mean SV responses to individual SVpeak loads were also higher during exercise compared to recovery (122.9 ± 2.5 versus 105.3 ± 5.93 mL). The highest SV responses to 10 min exercises of 40-70% of VO2max were obtained in the 5th or 7.5th min of each stage (p≤0.05). Meanwhile, during 5 min exercises between 80-100% of VO2max, peak SV responses were observed in the 3rd min of loading (p≤0.05). In conclusion, individual SVpeak levels encountered over wide exercise intensity ranges showed that SVpeak development may also be correlated to exercise intensity corresponding to individual SVpeak loads.

Keywords

  • Inert-gas
  • Interval
  • Training
  • VO
Open Access

The Relationship Between Maximum Isometric Strength and Ball Velocity in the Tennis Serve

Published Online: 14 Oct 2016
Page range: 63 - 71

Abstract

Abstract

The aims of this study were to analyze the relationship between maximum isometric strength levels in different upper and lower limb joints and serve velocity in competitive tennis players as well as to develop a prediction model based on this information. Twelve male competitive tennis players (mean ± SD; age: 17.2 ± 1.0 years; body height: 180.1 ± 6.2 cm; body mass: 71.9 ± 5.6 kg) were tested using maximum isometric strength levels (i.e., wrist, elbow and shoulder flexion and extension; leg and back extension; shoulder external and internal rotation). Serve velocity was measured using a radar gun. Results showed a strong positive relationship between serve velocity and shoulder internal rotation (r = 0.67; p < 0.05). Low to moderate correlations were also found between serve velocity and wrist, elbow and shoulder flexion – extension, leg and back extension and shoulder external rotation (r = 0.36 – 0.53; p = 0.377 – 0.054). Bivariate and multivariate models for predicting serve velocity were developed, with shoulder flexion and internal rotation explaining 55% of the variance in serve velocity (r = 0.74; p < 0.001). The maximum isometric strength level in shoulder internal rotation was strongly related to serve velocity, and a large part of the variability in serve velocity was explained by the maximum isometric strength levels in shoulder internal rotation and shoulder flexion.

Keywords

  • serve velocity
  • isometric testing
  • shoulder internal rotation
Open Access

The Importance of Postural Control in Relation to Technical Abilities in Small-Sided Soccer Games

Published Online: 14 Oct 2016
Page range: 51 - 61

Abstract

Abstract

Making assessments regarding postural control and balance is very important for injury prevention in soccer. However, there has been no study that has associated postural control variables with branch-specific technical properties in a game. The aim of the present study was to determine the relationships between variables designating postural control levels and technical performance variables in different (1:1, 2:2 and 3:3) small-sided games (SSGs). Sixteen trained male amateur soccer players volunteered to take part in the study (age 17.2 ± 1.02 years, body height 176.25 ± 0.07 m, body mass 67.67 ± 13.27 kg). Following familiarization sessions, postural control was evaluated using one-leg and both-leg quiet-stance positions by measuring postural sway with a Tekscan HR Mat™ in anterior–posterior and medial–lateral directions. Later, 1:1, 2:2 and 3:3 SSGs were performed at two-day intervals and the technical variables specified for each game were analyzed. A Spearman’s rank-order correlation analysis demonstrated the relationship between postural control and soccer-specific technical variables in 1:1 (r-values ranging from 0.582 to 0.776), 2:2 (rvalues ranging from 0.511 to 0.740) and 3:3 (r-values ranging from 0.502 to 0.834) SSGs. In addition, a Wilcoxon signed rank test revealed differences between SSGs in terms of several variables. The results of the study showed that higher postural control levels are among the important variables that affect success in the performance of technical skills under rival pressure and suddenly changing conditions. Therefore, it is recommended that in addition to its use for injury prevention purposes, balance training should be conducted to improve branch-specific technical skills and to increase the levels of their successful performance in a game.

Keywords

  • balance
  • soccer
  • technical actions
  • pedobarography
Open Access

Effect of an Arm Swing on Countermovement Vertical Jump Performance in Elite Volleyball Players

Published Online: 14 Oct 2016
Page range: 41 - 50

Abstract

Abstract

The aim of this study was to determine how elite volleyball players employed the arm swing (AS) to enhance their jump performance. The study assessed how the AS influenced the duration and magnitude of the vertical ground reaction force (VGRF) during the main phases (preparatory, braking and accelerating) of the countermovement vertical jump (CMVJ), the starting position of the body at the beginning of the accelerating phase and the moment when the AS began contributing to increasing the jump height. Eighteen elite volleyball players performed three CMVJs with and without an AS. Kinetics and kinematics data were collected using two Kistler force plates and the C-motion system. The time and force variables were evaluated based on the VGRF, and the position of the body and the trajectory of the arm movement were determined using kinematic analysis. The AS improved the CMVJ by increasing the jump height by 38% relative to jumping without an AS. The AS significantly shortened the braking phase and prolonged the accelerating phase, however, it did not influence the preparatory phase or the overall jump duration. The AS also significantly increased the average force during the accelerating phase as well as the accelerating impulse. The AS upward began at 76% into the overall jump duration. The AS did not influence the body position at the beginning of the accelerating phase. These findings can be used to improve performance of the CMVJ with the AS and in teaching beginning volleyball players proper jumping technique.

Keywords

  • jump phases
  • jump height
  • VGRF
  • kinematic analysis
  • kinetic analysis
Open Access

Maximal Power of the Lower Limbs of Youth Gymnasts and Biomechanical Indicators of the Forward Handspring Vault Versus the Sports Result

Published Online: 14 Oct 2016
Page range: 33 - 40

Abstract

Abstract

The aim of the study was to define the relationship between maximal power of lower limbs, the biomechanics of the forward handspring vault and the score received during a gymnastics competition. The research involved 42 gymnasts aged 9-11 years competing in the Poland’s Junior Championships. The study consisted of three stages: first -estimating the level of indicators of maximal power of lower limbs tested on a force plate during the countermovement jump; second - estimating the level of biomechanical indicators of the front handspring vault. For both mentioned groups of indicators and the score received by gymnasts during the vault, linear correlation analyses were made. The last stage consisted of conducting multiple regression analysis in order to predict the performance level of the front handspring vault. Results showed a positive correlation (0.401, p < 0.05) of lower limbs’ maximal power (1400 ± 502 W) with the judges’ score for the front handstand vault (13.38 ± 1.02 points). However, the highest significant (p < 0.001) correlation with the judges’ score was revealed in the angle of the hip joint in the second phase of the flight (196.00 ± 16.64°) and the contact time of hands with the vault surface (0.264 ± 0.118 s), where correlation coefficients were: -0.671 and -0.634, respectively. In conclusion, the angles of the hip joint in the second phase of the flight and when the hands touched the vault surface proved to be the most important indicators for the received score.

Keywords

  • countermovement jump
  • kinematic analysis
  • gymnastics
  • sports competition
  • coaching
Open Access

Effects of Acute Fatigue of the Hip Flexor Muscles on Hamstring Muscle Extensibility

Published Online: 14 Oct 2016
Page range: 23 - 31

Abstract

Abstract

The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the influence of acute fatigue of the hip flexor muscles on scores attained in tests frequently used in literature to measure hamstring muscle extensibility, namely the passive straight leg raise (PSLR), active straight leg raise (ASLR), passive knee extension (PKE), active knee extension (AKE), sit-and-reach (SR) and toe-touch (TT) tests. A total of seventy-five healthy and recreationally active adults voluntarily participated in this study. To reach fatigue, the participants actively lifted their legs alternately as many times as possible. In the passive tests, the results were 7.10 ± 5.21° and 5.68 ± 4.54° higher (p < 0.01) for PSLR and PKE tests, respectively, after acute fatigue. However, in the ASLR test, the results were lower post-fatigue than pre-fatigue (mean difference = -5.30° ± 9.51°; p < 0.01). The AKE, SR and TT tests did not show significant differences between pre- and post-fatigue (p > 0.05). Moderate (r = 0.40) to high (r = 0.97) correlation coefficients were found, which were statistically significant among all the measured flexibility tests both pre- and post-fatigue. In conclusion, the active implication of the hip flexor muscles until reaching fatigue had acute influences on the results of the PSLR, PKE and ASLR tests, but not on the results of the AKE, SR and TT tests. It is recommended to use the AKE test to assess hamstring muscle extensibility in situations where athletes show fatigue in their hip flexor muscles.

Keywords

  • flexibility
  • stretching
  • physical exercise
  • angular test
  • linear test
Open Access

The Influence of X-Factor (Trunk Rotation) and Experience on the Quality of the Badminton Forehand Smash

Published Online: 14 Oct 2016
Page range: 9 - 22

Abstract

Abstract

No existing studies of badminton technique have used full-body biomechanical modeling based on three-dimensional (3D) motion capture to quantify the kinematics of the sport. The purposes of the current study were to: 1) quantitatively describe kinematic characteristics of the forehand smash using a 15-segment, full-body biomechanical model, 2) examine and compare kinematic differences between novice and skilled players with a focus on trunk rotation (the X-factor), and 3) through this comparison, identify principal parameters that contributed to the quality of the skill. Together, these findings have the potential to assist coaches and players in the teaching and learning of the forehand smash. Twenty-four participants were divided into two groups (novice, n = 10 and skilled, n = 14). A 10-camera VICON MX40 motion capture system (200 frames/s) was used to quantify full-body kinematics, racket movement and the flight of the shuttlecock. Results confirmed that skilled players utilized more trunk rotation than novices. In two ways, trunk rotation (the X-factor) was shown to be vital for maximizing the release speed of the shuttlecock – an important measure of the quality of the forehand smash. First, more trunk rotation invoked greater lengthening in the pectoralis major (PM) during the preparation phase of the stroke which helped generate an explosive muscle contraction. Second, larger range of motion (ROM) induced by trunk rotation facilitated a whip-like (proximal to distal) control sequence among the body segments responsible for increasing racket speed. These results suggest that training intended to increase the efficacy of this skill needs to focus on how the X-factor is incorporated into the kinematic chain of the arm and the racket.

Keywords

  • 3D motion capture
  • full-body modeling
  • kinematics
  • whip-like movement
Open Access

Zika Virus Infection, Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games in Rio 2016, and Sports Performance

Published Online: 14 Oct 2016
Page range: 5 - 7

Abstract

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